How to Conquer GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

I’m the first to admit that I’m addicted to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), Gear, and Equipment.

Having the right gear will fix all my life’s problems

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I have the wrong impression that if I somehow bought a new camera, a new gadget, or gizmo– I will somehow become more creative. I often genuinely believe that I’m ‘missing out’ by not having the newest and greatest.

I think I’m held back by my lack of creative tools. I think that if I just had the right, perfect tool — I would creatively flourish, and become the best version of myself.

The real fault? Myself.

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This is of course; false. My biggest stumbling block is myself. My lack of innovation and creativity.

If anything, I have too much equipment. Having too many options forces me to become lazy. I am not resourceful with too many options.

I believe in ‘creative constraints.’ Kind of how like haiku poems make you more creative– you are forced to innovate within 3 lines.

Personal remedies

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Even when the wound heals; the scar remains.

I am (mostly) healed from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)– wanting more gear for the sake of it.

But the scar remains.

Which means, even though I am pretty satisfied with my equipment now, I still often get cravings and urges for new shit, if I see it.

How do I prevent this?

1. Ignore the sirens

In the Odyssey by Homer, Ulysses has to sail past the sirens. Imagine the sirens as some evil, man-eating mermaids. But they were so beautiful, and had the most intoxicating songs. Many sailors jumped to their death, because they couldn’t resist the temptations of the sirens.

So what did Ulysses do? He ordered his fellow sailors to tie himself to the mast (front) of the ship. And to fill his ears with beeswax. So finally when he did sail by the Sirens, he struggled with all his might (but he was tied down) and fortunately didn’t jump to his death.

The sirens in today’s world are blogs, gear review sites, advertising, marketing, and social media.

I am a capitalist American. My religion is consumerism. To buy shit. To throw things away when they get old. And to fulfill all of my hedonistic desires with convenient 1-day Amazon Prime.

Assignment 1: Plug your ears with wax

To overcome GAS, I had to plug my ears with wax. Which meant installing extension plugins on my browser (Stayfocusd on Chrome, and Wastenotime in Safari) to block myself from visiting distracting gear websites. I don’t trust myself. This has helped me conquer my addictions and cravings.

2. One camera, one lens

Too many options is creative death. Fewer options, more ingenuity, and more creativity.

So I’ve given myself a creative constraint of sticking with just one camera, one lens.

Now, I don’t stress about the gear to use. I know my limitations, the Ricoh GR II and the integrated (non-changeable) 28mm lens.

Assignment: Only one camera, one lens for a year

Lock all your cameras in the closet, and just choose one camera, one lens to use for a year.

Better yet, give away all your cameras to your friends, family, or those who you think can use it better than you (what I did).

3. Why do you make photos?

The last question to ask yourself:

“Why do I make photos?”

When you figure out why you make photos; you will figure out that you don’t need the fanciest gear to make the images you want.

For me, I make photos for connecting with my loved ones. My focus is to document my life with Cindy (#cindyproject), and I can technically do it with any camera. I’ve photographed her much on my smartphone, and even my Ricoh GR II camera. I don’t need 100 megapixels to capture my love for her.

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Ask yourself why you make photos. To get more Instagram likes and followers? Or to fulfill your creative spirit and soul?

Assignment: Write ‘why’ you make photos into a blog post

Use,, or any social media platform to write why you make photos. This should give you more focus in your photography and life.


eric kim photography black and white hanoi-0009761 kite

You are already a creative genius. Everyone who was born a child, was born creative. Yet when we get older, we are convinced by materialistic capitalistic society that tell us that we need to buy gear to partake in a creative activity.

This is why we spend $80 on yoga pants. Hundreds of dollars in camping gear. Thousands of dollars in camera equipment.

The craving for gear will always exist. So focus on the art of photography, to keep yourself motivated, and invest your money into travel and experiences instead.

Also download some of my free ebooks to keep yourself inspired.

You got this.



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